Syöte Visitor Centre
Start your excursion to the national park from the Syöte Visitor Centre, which is located at the foot of Iso-Syöte Fell. The visitor centre is accessible for all. Many trails start from the visitor centre's yard. Please feel free to ask more from the staff!
The Tales from the Backwoods exhibition presents the human activities in and the natural features of Syöte, as there have been inhabitants in the area since the end of the Ice Age. The temporary exhibitions, usually, display works by local artists and nature photographers.
In Maaselkä area, Vattukuru ravine was formed by the melting waters of the Ice Age about 10 000 years ago, when the water, which had been trapped between the hill slope and the ice sheet, burst out in the depression between the hills. Vattukuru Ravine is easy to reach. From Syötekylä you can drive on the road 862 towards Taivalkoski few kilometres, after which there is a sign where to turn for Vattukuru. In and around Vattukuru there is a 2,1 km long Nature Trail. There is a lean-to shelter by the trail.
Rytivaara Crown Tenant Farm
The Rytivaara Crown Tenant Farm (in Finnish) was built in 1852. Many generations have lived there in middle of this wilderness. If you wish to familiarise yourself with the tenant farmers' tough life, you should first take a look at the permanent exhibition of the Syöte Visitor Centre. In addition to the photographs and texts, you can watch a film "Life in the Forest Cabin".
You can reach the Rytivaara Crown Tenant Farm by following the signposts from Syötekylä village to the Ukonvaara parking area, from which the walking distance to the tenant farm is about 4 km. On your way to the tenant farm, you can also visit the old dammed meadow on the Latolampi mire, where you can see an old hay barn, sauna and dam. Both the Latolampi and Crown tenant farm buildings have been renovated and are open to visitors. There is also a reservable hut in Rytivaara, Rytitupa, so you can overnight in Rytivaara.
A challenging ascent up to the Ahmakallio observation tower will reward you with spectacular views 400 metres above sea level. The views over the majestic wooded hills open out in front of you. It is advisable to set off for Ahmakallio from the Syöte Visitor Centre, whereupon the length of the trek is about 12 kilometres. The trail partly follows the Ahmankierros Trail (Wolverine's Circular Trail) (17 km). Another option is to arrive from the direction of Jaaskamo (the distance is 4 km from the parking area to the observation tower). There is also a deposit of semi-precious stones in Ahmavaara. The Ahmavaara open wilderness hut hosts an exhibition of semi-precious stones.
Kaunislampi is a nature reserve (a primeval forest area) located on the western side of the Syöte National Park. You can explore the handsome ravine lake on the 2-km trail around Lake Kaunislampi. The cliff on the lake's eastern shore was created in a rupture in the bedrock.
Another sight in the area is the rocky raised beach on the western side of Lake Kaunislampi. The raised beach was created when the ice sheet withdrew from the area more than 9,000 years ago. At the time, the melting glaciers formed a sea that covered the Kaunislampi area and only the hill tops were located above sea level.
At the end of your hike, take a break at the day trip hut located on the lake's southern side. There is a connecting trail from the day trip hut to the Syöte National Park's hiking trail network. You can reach Kaunislampi by taking a 1.9-km trail from the parking area located by Ruuhensuontie Road.
Pyhitys (422 m) is the highest hill in the Syöte National Park, and climbing it is a journey to silence. From the Pyhitys summit you can admire the wilderness views in all directions. This destination is particularly recommended in summer and when the colours of autumn are in full bloom. Pyhitys is located in Taivalkoski, in the Salmitunturi fell area of the Syöte National Park, west of Lake Kostonjärvi.
There is a 1.5-km trail to the top of Pyhitys from the Pyhitysvaara parking area. Halfway through the trail, at the foot of Pyhitys, is the Pyhitys lean-to shelter, with a campfire site and firewood provisions, and a dry toilet.
The Pyhitysvaara parking area (located by the crossroads of Ahmaselkosentie and Siirajärventie Roads) is most easily reached from Taivalkoski by driving along Posiontie Road (863) to the north, then turning for a short while onto Koitilantie Road (8631) and continuing north along Vaarakyläntie Road and further along Siirajärventie Road. If you are coming from Posio, drive to the east along a forest road that starts on the southern side of Sirniö village and the Kuusijoki bridge. If you come from Kuusamo, turn from Kuusamontie Road (20) onto Koitilantie Road (8631) and then onto Ahmaselkosentie Road. Keep a map with you when driving on forest roads.
Sights in the Nearby Area
Close to the national park (Iso-Syöte Hiking Area, the Syöte recreational forest and the other nearby areas), you will also find gorgeous sights that are worth visiting.
Iso-Syöte, which is located on the southern side of the Syöte National Park, is Finland's southernmost fell. The felltop (432.50 m) is home to fell plants, such as the alpine bearberry. The parking area of Iso-Syöte Hotel is the starting point of the Huippupolku Trail (Syöte Summit Trail, 1 km), along which you will find an observation platform. The wooded hills will open out at your feet. Along the trail, you will familiarise yourself with the views, natural features and geological history of the area, which belongs to the Iso-Syöte Hiking Area.
Pytkynharju is a narrow esker that is roughly three kilometres long and, at its best, 30 metres high, from where fabulous views open out to the area. At the end of the Ice Age, the esker was created in a crack of the continental ice sheet in which gravel and sand were accumulated by the melting waters. Pytkynharju is located on the southern side of Iso-Syöte Fell, close to the Naamankajärvi recreation centre. The distance from the Kellarilampi parking area (on the southern side of the esker) or from the Lauttalampi parking area (on the western end of the esker) to Pytkynharju is only a few hundred metres. The distance from the eastern end (i.e. from the Naamankajärvi parking area) to the esker is less than one kilometre. Pytkynharju is part of the Syöte recreational forest.